What to Expect from the Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) Application Process

Finding a healthcare plan for your company isn’t easy, and the research alone can be time-consuming and confusing. But now comes the next dreaded step: applying. Where do you even begin?

When dealing with minimum essential coverage (MEC), it’s crucial to understand the application process, which we’ll explore shortly. A MEC plan refers to any healthcare insurance plan that meets the Affordable Care Act requirements.

Although various plans fall under this category, not all of them do. It’s essential to confirm that your chosen plan qualifies as MEC before starting your application.

Employers with at least 50 full-time employees must offer MEC to at least 95% of these workers as well as their dependents. It’s also a good idea to have MEC even if you’re an individual — for both peace of mind and financial purposes. A MEC plan provides access to a network of providers, potentially at a lower cost than seeking out-of-network care.

What qualifies as MEC?

Most full-scope plans qualify as MEC under the ACA mandate. Stand-alone dental and vision insurance do not qualify.

Here are some examples of plans that qualify as MEC:

  • Most employer-sponsored plans
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) plans
  • Retiree plans from the Health Insurance Marketplace or former employer
  • Individual and family plans that are purchased through an insurance carrier
  • Individual “grandfathered” plans
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) plans
  • Veterans Affairs health programs
  • Certain types of TRICARE
  • ​​Peace Corps Volunteer health benefits
  • Student health plans

How does my company apply for a MEC plan?

If your company employs 50 or more full-time people, you’ll need to offer employees MEC health insurance. Here’s what you should know about applying for coverage.

The first step is to familiarize yourself with the ACA regulations regarding employer-sponsored health plans, including MEC requirements, so you understand what constitutes minimum essential coverage.

Keep in mind that not all MEC plans are identical. Determine what benefits your employees will need and consider the cost of each plan. Basic plans may include benefits such as preventive screenings and primary care coverage, whereas more elevated plans can include specialist visits, labs and X-rays.

Once you’ve determined the right plan for your needs, begin the application process by completing any required paperwork, including filling out enrollment forms, providing employee information, and supplying other documentation.

Opting for a self-funded MEC plan can further help you ensure your employees are covered — all while saving in the long run. Self-funded insurance plans like MagnaCare’s are exempt from state coverage mandates and state taxes and provide you with the flexibility to design a plan that’s perfectly tailored to your needs.

Ready to apply?

Navigating the healthcare system can be challenging, but MagnaCare is here to help.

There are many benefits to enrolling in a MEC plan. Although each plan varies, ensuring minimum coverage can provide your employees access to things like:

  • Primary care and specialist office visits
  • Preventive and wellness services, including checkups, screenings, tests, and more
  • Urgent care and emergency room services
  • Optional coverage for COBRA, vision, and telemedicine
  • Prescription discount cards and drug benefits

And all that’s on top of peace of mind that your workforce will stay healthy, happy, and satisfied.

Get in touch with MagnaCare with any questions about MEC.

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